Parents' Guide to

Sixteen Candles

By Randy White, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Racy, drunken, hilarious '80s high school comedy.

Movie PG 1984 93 minutes
Sixteen Candles Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 53 parent reviews

age 17+

Racism abounds

Loads of people talk about the sexism, potential date rape, nudity, and swearing, but I haven’t seen one review in which they discuss the racism. The main character’s has a Chinese exchange student, crudely named Long Duck Dong (are you kidding me?!) staying with them and he is essentially treated like some kind of pet and portrayed as idiotic and like every horrible caricature of an Asian person ever created. As much as I enjoyed as a teenager, I implore you to discuss all these questionable moments in the movie if you decide to watch it with your teenager. That is the only way we can affect real change otherwise they will think this behavior is acceptable.
age 16+

Funny 80's high school romcom has sex and language and drugs

My Rating: R for Sexual Content, Language, and Drug Use

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (53 ):
Kids say (88 ):

This '80s film is a hair-raising tour of adolescence. Sam is a girl in the throes of her first crush, and she's desperately insecure about her body. A sublimely awkward dork dogs her heels, alternately yearning for approval and crassly propositioning her. She's infatuated with a senior god and intimidated by his goddess girlfriend.

Sixteen Candles doesn't raise profound issues or craft scenes of special beauty. However, this is John Hughes at his best; he captures the nuances of adolescent slang and recreates the little humiliations that can make teen life a living hell. It's all in the details: When Sam's grandmother checks out Sam's "perky boobies" with a squeeze, you'll wonder how anyone gets through high school.

Movie Details

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